“I was concerned for his mental health,” a friend of the accused said
A friend of the man accused of murdering millionaire hotelier Sir Richard Sutton and paralysing his mother has told court the defendant “felt unloved and unwanted” by his family.
Thomas Schreiber, 35, van Gillingham, Dorset has been accused at Winchester Crown Court of the murder of the 83-year-old baronet, as well as the attempted murder of his mother, Anne Schreiber, aan 7 April 2021.
Voorheen, Mr Schreiber admitted to the manslaughter of Sir Richard and pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, after driving a Range Rover on the A303, A4 and M3. Egter, he denies the allegations of murder and attempted murder.
The attack took place near Gillingham, Dorset, at Sir Richard’s Moorhill estate. He shared the estate with the Schreiber family following the separation of the defendant’s parents.
Schreiber previously described how he continued to go “back and forth” between the pair, stabbing them. He told the court at an earlier hearing: “There was a knife on the island and I just went completely crazy and I saw the knife and the voice in my head had shouted: ‘Attack, attack’, I picked up the knife and started stabbing my mum.”
Graham Booth, a family friend, said he had been concerned about Mr Schreiber’s mental health and the impact living at home with his mother and Sir Richard could have on it.
Mr Booth said: “It seemed extremely dysfunctional. He was not at all keen on Sir Richard.
“He felt unloved, unwanted and regarded with a degree of disdain by his mother and Richard.
“I was concerned for his mental health.”
Mr Booth said the death of Mr Schreiber’s father, David, eight years prior to the day of the attack, had a “very bad impact” on Schreiber.
He explained: “He felt loved by his father in a way he didn’t so much from Anne. I had the impression his father’s death was a terrible loss for him.”
Mr Booth continued, saying he believed the defendant felt “trapped” by the allowance of £1,000-a-month given to him by Sir Richard, and that it meant it would be harder for him to gain independence.
The defendant used to share a flat with Tommy Clark, 45, who told the court that the coronavirus lockdown had a negative effect on Mr Schreiber’s life, forcing him to stay at the Moorhill estate.
He explained: “He couldn’t wait to have a social life, he hated lockdown, hated the scenario he was in and he desperately wanted to move out.
“I would describe a gradual decline and increased desperation, based on how negative he seemed and how unhappy he was with lockdown situation.
“He had also made plans to go away for Christmas last year and they were scuppered by the travel restrictions. He seemed like he was in an unhappy place.”
The trial has been adjourned until Tuesday.